Cleaning question - plastic bag ink out of wood floor

I left a plastic bag on the wood floor. Apparently, back when it was humid, the bad stuck to the floor and when I pulled it off, the ink on the bag had somehow transferred to the floor. Now I have “Free Comic Book Day” apparently indelibly soaked in my floor.

On the off chance that I ever invite a girl back to my place (or the landlord comes to do anything), I’d like to get the writing out. How would I do this?

Yikes. This happens to me with my crappy laminate kitchen counters. The only way I’ve ever been able to get it out is to use a scouring brush and bleach and buff it out. But since yours is on a wood floor, I’d be careful going that route - maybe test an inconspicuous spot in a corner first.

I’m not sure if this is good advice. Try ammonia. Full strength. It is what I use on coins to get rid of “India Ink” from the turn of the century.

Ammonia is really hard on old varnishes.
I’d first try an orange oil (limonene) based cleaner, then Goo-B-Gone, then ethanol. If those fail, you could cautiously try ammonia.
Incidentally, ethanol will also dissolve some old varnish types, so you need to be careful so as not to leave a light spot in place of the ink spot.

Try a regular hard-wood floor cleaner first.

If it is a hardwood floor in good condition would it be out of line to suggest that you look around for some professional help?

It is important to find out if this is a laminate “wood” floor, a new hardwood floor or an old varnished one that hasn’t been re-finished in a few dozen years.

If it is one of the newer laminate wood floors the top “wear layer” is very much like AFG’s formica counter tops. bleach and a green scrubby pat will make short work of it. Bleach is much more aggressive when hot. I frequently heat it in a plastic bottle set in near boiling water for a few mins.

If it is a newer floor it is likely coated with a urethane sealant and gloss coat. The ammonia may work for you. Unfortunatly some printing inks have a real affinity for synthetic finishes. I have seen vinyl floors pick up purple dye stains that literally discolor all the way through the wear layer making the stain almost practicly impossible to remove.

Luckily, on varnished (or urethaned) floors, the offending stain can usually be lightly sanded away Then the top re-waxed and buffed to match the overall shine of the floor.

Save that for last though. Like Picunurse suggested, try a mild floor cleaner first. Then a light wax stripper. Next a little ammonia or rubbing alcohol (CAUTION alcohol will “cloud” many finishes) on a soft rag before breaking out the 120 grit.

Do not sand all the way to bare wood as you will surely leave a lighter spot on the finish that will look worse than before.

Thanks for the help. I tried some all-purpose cleaner and that didn’t work. Will escalate to some other options.

Will buy throw rug as last resort and blame ex-roommate if it comes to that.

Any d’Limonene (citrus) based cleaner will clean it right away. I use Nature’s Ultimate but I think it’s only available in Canada.

Three responses:

  1. Depends entirely on the finish: wax, polyurethane, nuthin’ etc.

  2. If polyurethane finished: Goof-Off, Goo-B-Gone, or another petroleum-based cleaner should work. Will make floor very slippery; caution should ensue.

  3. Zombies make EXCELLENT housekeepers and should be able to remove the stain.